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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If this has been discussed elsewhere, I apologize but I couldn't find it. Feel free to give me the link. That being said, I drive a Wrangler with a five speed and am darn good at shifting it in my humble opinion. In the Cruze, it requires a lot more attention from first to second. I notice there is a very big gap between 1st and 2nd, bigger than between 2nd and 3rd. Why is the first gear so low? I think it could have been geared slightly higher to make the shift from 1st to 2nd smoother. I seem to have to rev the engine a lot to have enough power in 2nd after shifting into 2nd, especially when I need to get going because I am pulling into traffic at an intersection. I would love some feedback. I can live with it, but what was the rational behind this design?
 

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Small engine makes little low end torque......a short first gear allows it to get moving without stalling....otherwise you'd have to slip the daylights out of the clutch.
Your Jeep has oodles of bottom end and can pull a 'tall' first gear no problem.

Rob
 

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The really short 1st gear helps when starting from a stop. I usually shift right around 10 MPH. The shifts that gave me a hard time were going into 5th and 6th. The super long 6th gear takes some getting used to, but it's also why this car does so well on the open road.

Once you have regapped your spark plugs to be consistent and somewhere between 0.028" to 0.035" (anywhere in that range is good) you will discover the ECO MT has no qualms about running all the way down to the 900 RPM idle speed. It took me over 3,000 miles to get used to shifting low and keeping the engine speed down.

Also, when the weather warms back up you'll want to shift to mid-grade or premium gasoline. Our engine was designed for premium (91 octane). The ECU is programmed to protect the car on 87 at the expense of throwing away combustion energy. I run mine on 91 octane year round, but I know that in some parts of the country there is a huge price jump from mid-grade to premium.

Also, to preempt your next question, the grind you hear and feel as you pass 12.4 MPH the first time after starting the car is the ABS system self check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Obermd, I will check those plugs asap and regap them to .035, if necessary. Mine is a 2014 so hopefully they fixed the problem already. I will see. In regard to the tires, I already raised the air pressure to 45 psi and will see if the ride is compromised much. If not, 45 it will be. In regard to shifting, I will try experimenting around 10 mph. Also, midgrade isn't too expensive in my part of the country, so I will give it a try. 91 is just too expensive. Over a dollar more per gallon. Crazy. Last thought, I never had trouble with 5th or sixth. I may not be shifting at the right time to optimize mileage, but I actually really enjoy the three over drives. It is just that first to second shift I have to make peace with. Wouldn't it just be great if it was the spark plugs!
 

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on my next set of tires ill be going from a 215/55/17 to a 215/45/17 for my track setup. im hoping that may ever so slightly lower my overall gearing so i can just start in second at all times, or just make it easier. the only time now i use 1st is from a dead stop/launch, other wise its all second. i happen to do a lot of "california rolls"
 

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Almost all transmissions have the largest gear ratio difference between 1st and 2nd. The difference between gear ratios decreases with higher gears.
 

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Almost all transmissions have the largest gear ratio difference between 1st and 2nd. The difference between gear ratios decreases with higher gears.
Not sure how it is with you guys but 1 > 2 1.4T Eco is different from many other cars I've driven granted they were 2.0l and above. It feels magnified when you have 4 extra passengers.

The really short 1st gear helps when starting from a stop. I usually shift right around 10 MPH. The shifts that gave me a hard time were going into 5th and 6th. The super long 6th gear takes some getting used to, but it's also why this car does so well on the open road.
People brag about skipping 5th and I'm like how when traffic for me bounces between 34 and 41 constantly.

Once you have regapped your spark plugs to be consistent and somewhere between 0.028" to 0.035" (anywhere in that range is good) you will discover the ECO MT has no qualms about running all the way down to the 900 RPM idle speed. It took me over 3,000 miles to get used to shifting low and keeping the engine speed down.
Mine with 93 and .032 iridiums still didn't like 4-5-6 under 1200 rpms till V power plugs swap. Run 93 year round as well, a/c still comes on till you are like below 40-45*F for defrost/defog.
 

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In fact, Robby, I usually start out in second with the Wrangler:>) I only use first in the woods or when I feel like a slow start. I think you answered my question all the same.
I could start in 2nd in every other manual car I have had............until now. Actually, 2nd gear is the preferred gear used to start out on snow in for other manual cars.
 

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I could start in 2nd in every other manual car I have had............until now. Actually, 2nd gear is the preferred gear used to start out on snow in for other manual cars.
I realize this topic is speaking manual trans, but thought this kinda proves your statement. The owners manual says the automatic cruze can take off in 2nd for added snow traction. All one has to do is when stopped put the lever in manual mode and shift up from 1st to 2nd. Once you take off this way the car will not automaticly shift below 2nd gear while you remain in manual mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I could start in 2nd in every other manual car I have had............until now. Actually, 2nd gear is the preferred gear used to start out on snow in for other manual cars.
This is the only complaint, if I want to call it that, which I have about the cruze eco mt so far. If that is all, I will be very happy. I really like fourth fifth and sixth. I'm not a hypermiler so I'm just going with want is needed, when I need power I shift later, if I want better mileage I shift as soon as possible without lugging the engine.
 

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You can start off in 3rd in the Eco manual. You will be riding the living **** out of the clutch if you decide to continue after you realised you forgot to shift back into 1st when you stopped at the red light. You can leave in 1st or 2nd in the snow but turn traction control off or you may stall out. If you leave it off for the rest of that trip, that's all on you and not me nor the forum if you have a hold my beer moment shortly after.
 

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I usually rev up to 3000 RPM doing the 1-2 shift, 3000 for the 2-3 shift, then about 2500 RPM or lower for all other upshifts.

Just in case you ever get a 1-2 balk or grind, swapping the OEM swill out with Amsoil Synchromesh is proven to smooth out shifts and reduce the 1-2 grind.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think this is the way to do it. After reving up to 3000 RPM, I shift, wait a second for the rpms to come down a bit, shift, and it comes off pretty smooth. Thanks.
I usually rev up to 3000 RPM doing the 1-2 shift, 3000 for the 2-3 shift, then about 2500 RPM or lower for all other upshifts.

Just in case you ever get a 1-2 balk or grind, swapping the OEM swill out with Amsoil Synchromesh is proven to smooth out shifts and reduce the 1-2 grind.
 
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